Which One Chicago finale had the best cliffhanger in 2019?

CHICAGO FIRE -- "I'm Not Leaving You" Episode 722 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "I'm Not Leaving You" Episode 722 -- Pictured: Taylor Kinney as Lt. Kelly Severide -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC) /
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The Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med season finales once again served up cliffhangers. But which One Chicago finale had the best one this season?

If it’s a One Chicago finale, it’s got a cliffhanger in it. The writers of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD have used cliffhangers in almost every finale, including the latest season finales that aired in May.

The cliffhanger is a common device on TV, with shows using them in hopes that the audience will tune in next season to find out how the story ends. But they’ve practically become a requirement in One Chicago; whether it’s the fate of a character or some last-second plot twist, they happen all the time.

That makes this season’s even more difficult to judge. There were surprises, sure, but how do those surprises compare to the ones we’ve seen before in past seasons? Did one stand out as being more shocking or better put together, or did one lack the suspense of the others?

Which of the latest season finale cliffhangers was the best? That’s the question that we’re trying to answer by analyzing all three of them, starting with:

Chicago Med

What happened: Dr. Natalie Manning (Torrey DeVitto) was about to be proposed to by her boyfriend, Phillip Davis (recurring guest star Ian Harding). But before he could pop the question, Natalie spoke to FBI agent Ingrid Lee (recurring guest star Anna Enger Ritch), who told her that her ex-fiance Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) refused to leave Chicago because of her. Even though Will’s life was in danger, he wouldn’t get out of town because he still had feelings for Natalie.

Incredibly moved by what Agent Lee said, Natalie hurried out of the hospital and found Will in his car. But before she could seriously talk to him, the car was T-boned from the side by one of the sons of the gangster Will went undercover with in the first half of the season. An upset Will discovered that Natalie was seriously injured in the impact; she was not only incredibly bloodied, but unconscious. Is she going to live or die?

What we think: Chicago Med once again putting the focus on Will and Natalie was surprising, since there were other storylines that had plenty of drama in them already and could have easily generated a cliffhanger with what was already established. What about Dr. Ava Bekker (Norma Kuhling) admitting that yes, she was a murderer—and one with zero remorse?

Instead, the writers continued to focus on Manstead, and did so by piling on more problems for them in a season where they’d had enough. The Will going undercover storyline was wearing out its welcome by the time it was (apparently) wrapped up in the midseason finale, and Natalie being hurt had already happened earlier in the season, too.

Plus the romantic reveals leading up to the car crash were awkward, to say the least. After hinting at a possible romance between Will and Agent Lee for weeks, the show didn’t actually do anything with them until the finale. And having Phillip propose was as out of nowhere as the wreck. He was ready to get married after just a few months of dating? That felt tacked on to make the cliffhanger even more dramatic.

Will and Natalie are the clear favorites of the Chicago Med writers. But man, have they made them suffer. It would have been nice not to make their lives even more difficult—yet to be fair, seeing a distraught Will holding a bleeding Natalie in his arms was a shocking image to wrap up the season with. It accomplished the goal of wanting to know what happens next, even if it wasn’t the most well-executed.

How we’d grade it: Unfortunately, just because so much happens that feels tacked on to make it more dramatic, Chicago Med has to come in at the bottom of our rankings. It created more drama out of storylines that have already run their course, instead of taking advantage of the drama that was right in front of it.